If you were able to tip up the gold dome of the Colorado Capitol and peer inside, the policymaking during the legislative session would look like organized chaos. And it’s hard to see how average voters can get their voices heard.
This is where The Colorado Sun wants to help. For the 2019 legislative session, we are launching Capitol Sunlight, where we pull back the curtain to demystify the state’s lawmaking process and help residents become more engaged.
Over the next 120-day term, we’ll shine our reporting light on the politics, people and policy at the state Capitol and offer avenues for everyone to get involved.
Read more below and check back often for more stories. And, most importantly, we want to hear from you. Tell us what you want to know — and we’ll work to find answers, whether it’s explaining the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights or questioning lawmakers about a particular bill. More details on how to connect with us below.
— John Frank, The Colorado Sun
How you can have a say in the way Colorado spends its budget
Colorado is currently planning how to spend the more than $30 billion in the state budget. And for the first time, you can tell lawmakers directly how you would like to see the money distributed.
A citizen’s guide to how spending works in Colorado
But before you go, you need to know the unique way that spending works in Colorado, from TABOR to a slew of amendments you may have never heard of. (JUMP TO: TABOR / Gallagher Amendment / Amendment 23)
A guide to lawmaking and lobbying in Colorado
Lawmaking doesn’t have to be a mysterious process. And you can be a part of it! In our guide, we offer the details on what you need to know to get your voice heard in the Colorado lawmaking process, according to conversations with dozens of legislators, lobbyists and policy experts.
Top 10 issues to watch in Colorado’s 2019 legislative session
Colorado lawmakers will focus on everything from oil and gas and health care to education and immigration during the legislative session.
Jared Polis Promise Tracker
During his 2018 campaign, Jared Polis made a lot of promises to voters, and we’re tracking his progress on them.
Colorado politics, annotated
Sometimes, a politician’s words don’t have all the context you need to understand them. We’re launching a regular series of annotated speeches and documents to help provide in-line context to important political speech.
Latest annotated posts
- Gov. Jared Polis unveils ambitious, expensive plans in first State of the State. Here’s the speech, annotated.
- KC Becker outlines aggressive agenda in her opening remarks. Here’s the new Colorado House speaker’s speech, annotated.
- Leroy Garcia’s opening remarks are notable for what he didn’t mention. Here’s the Colorado Senate president’s speech, annotated.
From the sidelines to the march, and now to the Capitol: One woman’s journey in the Trump era
Part 1: Lisa Cutter helped organize the first Women’s March in Denver, and now she is part of Colorado’s pink wave of new Democratic lawmakers elected in 2018. Read more…
Part 2: “It’s sort of messy, but that’s part of the beauty in a way.” As her first session winds up, Rep. Lisa Cutter attempts a “go big or go home” moment and learns a lot about how the legislative process works. Read more…
Part 3: The legislative session doesn’t in early May. It continues as lawmakers return to their districts and explain what they did. First-year Rep. Lisa Cutter heard an earful. Read more …
We want your questions about how lawmaking works in Colorado
The legislative process is complicated, and we know that you may have questions we haven’t addressed here. So send us your questions below (no question is too small or too basic) and we’ll work to get answers posted throughout the session.
Click here to see some of your earlier prompts, answered by politics reporter Jesse Paul.
The latest Colorado Sun politics stories
- Is Colorado’s 2019 ballot question about TABOR spending caps really a tax hike? The answer is sort of.
- In rare case, Colorado judge says permit must be reheard because of contributions to county commissioner’s campaign
- John Hickenlooper officially announces bid for U.S. Senate, one week after abandoning presidential ambitions
- Colorado’s presidential electors don’t have to vote for candidate who wins the state, federal appeals court rules
- John Hickenlooper hasn’t announced a U.S. Senate bid yet, but he’s already reshaping the 2020 race
- Lobbying spending sets new record in Colorado, as interests shift to influence Democratic-controlled Capitol
- Colorado’s trailblazing Safe2Tell system needs significant upgrades, lawmakers say
- What are those people doing hanging off of the Colorado Capitol’s gold dome? We found out.
- Recall petition against Senate President Leroy Garcia approved, campaign can start collecting signatures
- Fearing Tri-State could duck clean-energy goals, Colorado utilities commission files unprecedented protest
- With objections from Canada and drug companies, Colorado’s plan to import prescription medicines could be in trouble
- A campaign shake-up and wage complaint rattle Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate